216

Civil War Presentation Sword of a Maine Hero,

non-regulation European type similar to Model 1850 officer's with ornate cast brass hilt with floral decoration, shark skin and brass wire wrapped grip. Blade 36" single edged, with 3/4 length fuller and false edge at tip, marked on riccaso with European armory marks, engraved on top of blade "Klingenthal" and acid etched with patriotic symbols and "U.S.". Includes original blued finished steel scabbard with cast brass double carrying rings and steel drag, total length 42". Engraved in script on the knuckle bow "Presented to Major Chaplin Maine Regt. by the Members of Co. F". Daniel Chaplain had a distinquished career in the service of the Union. Commissioned as a Captain in Company F of the Second Maine Infantry in the fall of 1861, he served only a short time with McClellan in the Peninsula before being promoted to Major. When new regiments were called up, he was selected by Governor Washburn to lead the 18th Maine. Assuming command in August of 1862, and after serving five months garrison duty in Washington, was officially changed by the War Department to the 1st Regiment Heavy Artillery. It was in this capacity that Chaplin saw his heaviest action, first in the repulse of an attack on supply trains near the Fredricksburg Pike, on May 19th, 1864, suffering nearly 500 casualites. Later at Topotomy, Cold Harbor, Petersburg, and Deep Bottom the unit was heavily engaged, and at Petersburg suffered 600 losses. It was at Deep Bottom on August 18 that Chaplin was mortally wounded by a sharpshooter, and died three days later. He was brevetted Brigadier General on his deathbed. In his 1902 history of the First Maine Heavy Captain Horace Shaw wrote: "He (Chaplin) was a borne soldier, attractive and magnetic in person, a fine horseman with commanding presence. he gave his officers a royal friendship, to his soldiers a fatherly care, and to all a most considerable appreciation of merit wherever found. He was brave almost to recklessnes but modest withall. His service was that of the regiment till his wounds at Deep Bottom brought grieft to us and death to our beloved Colonel" (See "Military Images", Vol. XXIII, No. 5: 23-24.) A fine sword with great history, and likely the one carried by Chaplin throughout his service.

Condition:Blade has been sharpened, missing cap from pommel, minor chip on shark skin grip and very light surface rust on scabbard.

Estimate: $3,500 - $4,500
Price Realized Including Buyer's Premium
$3,738
11/20/2002

 

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